Monday, February 24, 2020
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

Poor reception as PCCW sees 24pc net profit fall
 
14/02/2020
 
Local telecom and media operator PCCW (0008) yesterday posted that its net profit fell 24 percent year-on-year to HK$681 million for 2019, declaring a final dividend of 23 HK cents. Revenue fell 3 percent to HK$37.52 billion last year, dragged down by declines in mobile product sales and Now TV business. Basic earnings per share were 8.83 HK cents. Media business revenue rose by 1 percent to HK$4.02 billion, but revenue from its Now TV fell by 6 percent to HK$2.69 billion. The figures were offset by over-the-top revenue, an 18 percent rise to HK$1.07 billion, and free TV ViuTV's revenue, which grew 27 percent to HK$259 million. Revenue at Now TV eased from 2018 which recorded a one-off contribution due to World Cup and related event passes, the company said. EBITDA for Now TV business also fell by 4 percent to HK$454 million. ViuTV's EBITDA loss last year narrowed by 22 percent year-on-year to HK$273 million as advertising revenue grew 11 percent driven by expanding viewership.The monthly active user number of ViuTV rose 35 percent to 41.4 million as of December 31, 2019, with users watching 5.7 billion videos, representing growth rates of 69 percent. Pacific Century Premium Developments, the property arm of PCCW, saw revenue up by 238 percent to HK$1.02 million. Solutions business revenue increased by 3 percent to HK$4.22 billion. In view of the virus outbreak, the company said it is taking precautions to protect employees and ensure business continuity. In 2020, the company aims to boost operating efficiency and the margin of Now TV but remains reserved on prospects for advertising spending. Its subsidiary HKT (6823) will launch 5G mobile services in April.
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